Thursday, May 28, 2009

Your Turn, Mr. Rogers

During the recent House Energy & Commerce committee debate on climate change legislation, Mike Rogers energetically offered up an amendment to tie U.S. adoption of cap-and-trade carbon policy to similar action by China and India. 

His amendment would allow the U.S. to get out of the cap-and-trade plan if India and China -- two of the world's biggest sources of greenhouse gases -- did not agree to similar limits.

From Bloomberg:
The provision focusing on China and India, offered by Republican Representative Mike Rogers of Michigan, would have allowed greenhouse-gas emission limits in the U.S. only if those two countries adopted standards that were “at least as stringent.” The committee rejected the proposal on a 36-23 party-line vote.
Fred Upton also chimed in:
 "If we don’t demand that they have the same kind of criteria that we do, we’re going to see those jobs go,” Upton said. “We can put a gun to China’s head” to push them to adopt pollution limits, he said."
Well, it looks as though guns won't be necessary.  The lead story in today's NYT Business section?

Yep, China is getting ready for standards even stricter than those proposed by President Obama, including improving fuel economy an additional 18% by 2015.  On top of that, 
Cars with small fuel-sipping engines are now subject to a 1 percent sales tax, while sports cars and sport utility vehicles with the largest engines are subject to a 40 percent sales tax. Stricter fuel economy standards have won support from four interest groups within the Chinese government, said a Chinese government official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue.
It's clear that we need to seriously address global warming. in addition, there are some pretty compelling economic reasons for the United States to lower its greenhouse gas emissions. It will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, an idea that so excited Mr. Rogers that he made an animated video.  Increasing competitiveness for U.S. companies? Ditto.

While Mr. Rogers gets a point or two for actually doing some Congress-type work while he's in Washington (as opposed to enforcing the party line and hosting GOP fundraisers), it would be great if he accomplished something that would help the state of Michigan.

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